Rome police cook pasta for lonely elderly couple

Four policemen cooked pasta for an elderly couple after rushing to their home in Rome when a neighbour overheard their cries of despair.

Rome police cook pasta for lonely elderly couple
Michele and Jole eat the pasta cooked up by Rome police. Photo: Questura di Roma

The couple – Jole, 84, and her 94-year-old husband, Michele, became anguished after watching the TV news, which included stories of terror attacks and abuse at a nursery in Italy, they told police.

Their cries were so loud that they were heard by a neighbour, who called the police.

Fearing that their home had been burgled or they were victims of a scam, the four officers – called Andrea, Alessandro, Ernesto and Mirko – headed straight to their apartment.

But instead of arriving at the scene of a crime, they found the lonely couple, who said nobody had been to see them for months.

“There was no crime,” the officers said in a statement on Questura di Roma's Facebook page.

“Jole and Michele were not victims of a scam, as often happens to the elderly, and there was no burglary. On this occasion, we had a more difficult task to perform – these were two lonely souls who needed reassuring.”

The officers’ description of the incident last week melted hearts, with the Facebook post being shared over 24,000 times.

The couple have been together for 70 years.

“Jole and Michele love eachother,” the police wrote. “But when loneliness burdens the heart, you lose hope…the TV kept them company, but they wondered why there is so much wickedness in the world.

“Sometimes loneliness can melt into tears, especially on a sultry Roman summer evening, when the city is empty and neighbours are away on holiday.”

While waiting for medics to arrive to check the couple were OK, the officers asked permission to access their pantry and set about cooking a simple dish: pasta and parmesan. 

“It was nothing special,” they said. “But it included a special ingredient: humanity.”

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Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”